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Becca Lipman
Becca Lipman
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Behavior Biometrics a Popular Defense Against Cyberthreats

Banks are capturing behavioral data like swipes, typing cadence, and mouse patterns to identify fraudulent account activity.

At Finovate this week, BioCatch, a firm specializing in capturing and analyzing cognitive biometrics, demonstrated a new trend in mobile security. This concept has been rapidly adopted and is wildly effective among major banks and e-commerce firms to stop fraud at the point of sale.

Behavioral authentication tools are capturing the behavioral footprint or cognitive DNA we all use when interacting with a device, be it a PC or a mobile application. A mobile device's gyro can capture the tilt of the user's hold, and the accelerometer captures swipes, pinches, zooms, and typing cadence. It takes only an application upgrade to start capturing subtle bio-behavior data and relaying it back to the bank to build user profiles.

If the sensors and signals show enough divergence in behavioral genetics, it can indicate an account takeover, even if all other elements -- like username, passwords, IP address, and device identification -- appear legitimate.

Malware also has DNA of its own in the scripts that are meant to go in and populate credentials in accounts and execute wire payments or whatever it is designed to do. The scripts are meant to look human, but they can look too perfect, or maybe too efficient. Even with malware scripts that have been made anonymous and developed to be polymorphic (coded to do things differently each time), there's still an underlying behavioral DNA.

[Read the full story on Wall Street & Technology]

Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio

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Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
10/1/2014 | 1:09:17 PM
biometrics
Biometrics could be very effective against fraud and combatting cybercrime  in the future, as it's often been said that a criminal can't duplicate what a person is (i..e voice, fingerprint). On the flip side, there's always a privacy/creeoiness factor when it comes to biometrics.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
10/1/2014 | 1:22:15 PM
Re: biometrics
Anecdotally, I have just broken my wrist and in a splint, which was obvious to Jens during the interview. He said that even though that would have an impact on my biometric DNA - holding the phone with my non dominant hand, at a different tilt, typing with a different cadence, etc - there would still be enough clues in my user DNA ( in addition to device id, location id, etc,) that the analytical tools know it is still me using the phone, and it would not trigger any fraud alerts. It's impressive. creepy, yes, but still impressive.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
10/1/2014 | 1:27:07 PM
Re: biometrics
Well that is incredibly creepy, and I want no part of it. Also, hope you heal up quick!
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
10/1/2014 | 1:52:09 PM
Re: biometrics
Thanks!

The fact is, it's already in place so good luck opting out. Banks have already deployed this on their apps and apparently it's making a significant impact on their ability to detect fraud. The informaiton that can save them millions in fraud each year is there for the taking, can you blame them for leveraging it?

As for leveraging it for marketing purposes, it's probably only a matter of time (or they're already doing it). But because the biometrics is non-personally identifiable informtion that seems "a bit" illegal. There will be an interesting conversation around privacy rights in our future!

 
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2014 | 12:18:56 PM
Re: biometrics
Pretty impressive (and more than a little creepy) that they can still tell it's you using the phone, despite all those differences in biometrics. Though I suppose I'd rather accept the creepy factor than have to worry about holding my phone a different way and unintentionally suggesting fraud. 
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